Blast To Freeze: British Art In The 20Th Century
Artwork by Bridget Riley, Peter Blake, Allen Jones, R.B. Kitaj, Henri Moore, Francis Bacon, Tony Cragg, Lucian Freud, Antony Gormley, Richard Hamilton, Damien Hirst, Gary Hume, Richard Long, Julian Opie, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Gilbert & George, David HockContributions by Marco Livingstone, David Alan Mellor, Richard Shone. Text by Andrew Causey, Richard Cork, David Curtis, Penelope Curtis, Nick de Ville, Margaret Garlake, Charles Harrison, Robert Hewison, James Hyman, Jeremy Lewison, Tim Marlow, Anne Massey, Christopher Stephens, Andrew Wilson, Norbert Lynton.
It was a sensation, indeed, when the young British artists took over the art scene in the 1990s. But what came before them? With works from more than 100 artists, Blast to Freeze traces the epoch-making art movements of an entire British century, from the outbreak of World War I to the collapse of the Soviet Union, beginning and ending with a decided break from the traditional. In 1914 a group of young British artists, the Vorticists, in their avant-garde journal Blast!, propagated a style that blended influences from French cubism and Italian futurism into an independent British modernism. In turn, mavericks such as Henry Moore and Francis Bacon are unthinkable without the British primitivists and surrealists of the 20s and 30s. The specifically British brand of pop art began with the legendary exhibitions of the Independent Group in the 50s, and in the 80s, new British sculpture emerged, represented by important proponents such as Tony Cragg and Antony Gormley. The YBAs, presented to the world in the exhibition Freeze, jointly organized by Damien Hirst and friends in the London Docklands in 1988, brings the survey to a close.